EXCLUSIVE: Economy Leads Discussion at Obama-Brown Meeting

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said today his ambitious proposal of creating a "Global New Deal" was one among a wide range of issues he discussed at the White House during his visit with President Obama.

The two leaders discussed the global economic crisis and plans for coordinated stimulus packages around the world.

The creation of a "Global New Deal," according to Brown, amounts to governments pouring large amounts of resources into the economy, a restructuring of the financial architecture, and investment in green technologies.

Today, Brown discussed how his idea would affect ordinary Americans, many of whom have been critical of the proposal.

"What it means is that every country should be contributing to bringing an end to this downturn," he said. "That we've got to enlist all the energies of people in different parts of the world to deal with problems that we all face. ... America trades with other countries. If these other countries have got no money, they can't trade with America. So, you lose your exports. Everybody is affected by things that are happening in different countries and we've got to work together to solve this problem."

Gordon Brown
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Brown said he's looking at how America and Europe can lead by example to better stimulate the economy, and said that he and Obama agreed on some parts of his proposal.

"I think President Obama and I agreed that, first of all, we had to do more to persuade other countries that they should do some of the things that America, Britain, and the rest of Europe have been doing," he said.

"I think we're talking about also how the banks themselves that are global -- they are international, they don't have branches just in America, they have branches all over the world -- how they can work better to serve the interests of the public," he said.

"And I think we're looking at how we can get trade moving again so that American exports can sell to the rest of the world just like British exports can sell to the rest of the world, and that means that our people have jobs as a result of that.

"[This] is the issue that I know concerns [Obama] most; what is happening to people throughout the country, what's happening to working families throughout the country," Brown said. "If we could act together as a world, and if we could do more working together to deal with the banking system and to deal with bringing more confidence into the economy, can we actually achieve this by international cooperation in a way that could make a difference? And I believe we can."

Obama vs. Bush: Their 'Priorities Are Really Different'

Brown also discussed the differences in working with Presidents Obama and George W. Bush.

"I think the priorities are really different, and that affects how people go about the job," he said. "You know, when President Bush was in the war against terror, what had happened after 2001, was such a significant force in his administration and thinking."

Historically, Bush placed a lot of value in personal relationships, something that Brown said he also sees in Obama.

"We were talking about our children," he said. "We were talking about his love of basketball, my love of tennis. And we both run quite a lot to try and keep fit."

Brown was hesitant to call today's financial challenges a depression.

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